Water infrastructure all over the country is aging, forcing utilities to invest in improvement projects, which means water rates are going up all over. That’s especially true in Colorado, where growing populations are competing for an ever scarcer supply of fresh water.
Water rates climbing in Colorado
The average annual water bill has gone up in almost all Colorado cities over recent years. Denver Water had a $1.29 increase per month for its average customer in 2014. That increase was based on a household using 115,000 gallons of water a year.
Rates climbed in Colorado Springs as well. The municipal utility there was building a massive pipeline from the Pueblo Reservoir to the eastern edge of the city limits, called the Southern Delivery System, which was costly.
The average 2014 water bill for residents in Denver proper was $449 in 2014. It was $496 for suburban customers.
“Customers in Denver tend to use less than 115,000 gallons per year; suburban customers tend to use more,” according to information from Denver Water.
That could be because suburban residents have more outdoor area to water or because they are more likely to have multiple bathrooms and modern appliances like clothes and dish washing machines.
Colorado Springs Utilities water customers paid significantly more than those in Denver at $808 a year. That could be because Colorado Springs is the only major metropolitan city in Colorado without a body of water or river to draw from. All of the city’s water has to be transported from the mountains, Arkansas River Valley or pumped from the ground.
How to save on water bills
With water rates on the rise, conserving water will become even more important if you want to keep utility expenses low. Here are a few tips to help you avoid flushing money down the toilet.
- Consider installing an instant hot-water spout so you don’t run the water a long time when you need hot or warm water.
- If an instant hot water spout isn’t in your budget, insulate your water pipes. This can help you get hot water faster.
- Using the rinse hold setting on your dishwasher usually uses less water than rinsing dishes by hand while accomplishing the same task.
- If you must rinse dishes by hand, fill the sink with water rather than leaving the faucet running.
- Check the water meter when you’re not using any water in the home to see if it’s still clocking use. That could mean you have a leak somewhere.
- Check for and repair leaks. You could be paying for hundreds of gallons of water that isn’t even being used. On top of that, leaks can cause damage to your home.
- Consider xeriscaping your yard so you don’t have to water the grass. Xeriscaping isn’t just rocks anymore. It can be beautiful and full of life with flowering plants and bushes that require little to no water.
- If you must water outdoors, water late at night or early in the morning when it’s cool and the sun isn’t out yet. That way the water has a chance to absorb into the ground before the sun evaporates it.
The Energy Resource Center has been helping families in Elbert, El Paso, Douglas, Fremont and Teller counties stay warm and safe in their homes since 1979. Download our Free Home Energy Savings Guide to discover more ways to save energy and money on your monthly bills.